Markets

Daily market wire 19 December 2017

Lachstock Consulting, December 19, 2017

Overnight futures markets:

Mixed for grains, lower for oilseeds.

  • CBOT wheat up 2.75c to 433.5c,
  • Kansas wheat up 1.5c to 431.75c,
  • Corn down -0.5c to 355.25c,
  • Soybean down -5.5c to 972.5c,
  • Winnipeg canola down -3.80$C to 491.2$C,
  • Matif canola down -1.25€ to 358.5€.
  • The Dow Jones up 140.75 to 24792.49,
  • Crude Oil down -0.18c to 57.12$ per barrel,
  • AUD up to 0.766c,
  • CAD up to 1.286c, (AUDCAD 0.986)
  • EUR was up to 1.178c (AUDEUR 0.650).

Wheat

Wheat finished with mild gains in a very mild session, featuring a dismal US4c/bu range, as holiday trading got into full swing. Weekly export sales came in at 585,000t, which was 65pc higher than last week’s figures. Matif wheat futures finished €1/t higher, while Russian cash pricing was unchanged. Iraq tender results are not out yet, while Jordan has also announced a tender for 100,000t on Jan 20. Hard Red Winter wheat (HRW) areas in the US will have a huge drop in temperature heading into this weekend and snow cover looks restricted to the north-eastern regions. The big question in wheat now whether the funds can carry their record HRW short (-31k contracts) and near record Soft Red Winter wheat short (-157k contracts) into the New Year. If they cannot then we may have some gappy trade with low holiday liquidity.

Coarse grains

Corn had another quiet, low range session as the market prepared for the festive season. Export sales were below market expectations falling 17pc week-on-week at 594,000t. Corn has a very large spec short position, which we might not see carried through to the year-end, given the potential for volatility in the January USDA report. A flash sale of 168,000t US sorghum was announced to China. This demand is good for Australian barley and sorghum, as the US price is rallying on dwindling supplies and higher ocean freights. This will see a larger portion of the feed grains market in China depending on Australian sorghum and barley.

Soybeans

Solid export sales couldn’t keep soybeans in the green, as the weekend rainfall in Argentina and southern Brazil proved better than expected. Weekly sales were up 43.8pc week-on-week at 1.775Mt. Soymeal was down US$2.30/t, while oil was down 4 points. Daily flash sales featured a private sale of 396,000t to China. The longer-term rain forecast in Argentina is mixed, with the models in disagreement, so direction from here is hard to fathom.

Canola

Canola was hit hard today and now looks poised to test technical support at Can$490/t. The dollar was close to unchanged and bean weakness was not significant enough to justify the sell off. With crush margins increasing, we find sustained weakness hard to achieve once we hit the New Year.

Australia

The Aussie forecast is clearing slightly in western SA, which will allow harvest to resume there. The rest of the country is dry, with the exception of northern NSW where 25-50 mm is forecast. This should provide support to sorghum crops in the region and may encourage further planting. Sorghum prices have rallied since last week on a combination of dry Darling Downs weather, limited grower selling and increasing export potential. Cash markets in wheat and barley have been fairly quiet with the stronger dollar reducing appetite. There is talk that some more feed wheat business has been done out of Australia into Asian destinations where we have no tax advantage, meaning that we are pricing directly against Black Sea values. Hard to foresee any weakness in low grade spreads from here.

Source: Lachstock Consulting

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